Sex & Relationships

Beyond Vanilla: Spice Up Your Sex Life Without Freaking Out Your Partner

Bored with your sex life? Trying something new just might be the thing to get you excited about sex again.

Most couples that have been together for any length of time have average, predictable sex lives. Humans are creatures of habit. And hey, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

For some couples, this is just fine, thank you very much. Predictable works. For others, as in other areas of their lives, they need a little adventure. Just as bungee jumping or skydiving makes them feel alive and invigorated, pushing the limits with the person they’ve been having sex with week after week, year after year adds novelty and thrill.

Also, if you’re bored with your sex life, you’re hardly going to be motivated to have sex. At best it will start to feel like a chore. Which probably means your sex life will take a nosedive. And less sex means less physical connection, which means less emotional connection. Trying something new just might be the thing to get you excited about sex again.

The important thing is that sexual exploration should come from a desire to connect more deeply with your partner and have more fun in bed, not from a desire to keep up with the Joneses. It’s hard to believe it wasn’t all that long ago that oral sex between couples was considered downright perverted. These days, with so much more information about extreme sexual practices thanks to the media, the internet and blabbermouths like me, it’s hard not to feel like you’re sexually repressed if you’re not having biweekly threesomes or learning to perfect your Japanese Rope Bondage technique.

It’s also important to realize that simply pushing your sexual limits isn’t going to save a lack-lustre sex life if you don’t already have good sexual communication. You need to learn to walk before you can run.


But even couples with the best communication can have a hard time talking about what they’d like to do beyond your regular sexual routine, for fear of that old, “OMG, you freak!” reaction.

No wonder some people need to be soused to let loose in bed. People need booze to say hello to someone they like at a bar, never mind asking their partner to dress up in a sailor suit and swab their deck. Just don’t get too experimental if alcohol is involved. You don’t want to end up in an emergency room with a broom handle stuck in your poop deck (oh, it’s happened). As folks in BDSM circles like to say: First drink of the day ends the play.


There’s no magical way to “turn someone on” to the idea of experimenting. There may be ways to get your partner excited about the idea of trying something new without scaring them off but you’ll have to take the initiative. Especially if they’re fine with things the way they are.

If one of you is more interested in pushing the limits sexually, telling the less interested partner that you think they’re sexually repressed is unlikely to get them to experiment. Don’t be pushy. If your partner is inhibited, you won’t unleash their inner sexual adventurer by pushing them, you’ll more likely only succeed in pushing them further away.

Let them know how much you love them, how much they turn you on, and how you’d like to explore some new things. Toss out a few mild ideas. Find out what they’re willing to try. Who knows, maybe they have a completely different idea of where they’d like things to go.

Leave out the judgment. This goes for the person who’s going out on a limb to be honest about what they’d like to try and the person hearing it. This is uncomfortable territory for everyone involved. Stay open to each other.

As the less receptive person, consider what exactly you have to lose by trying what your partner is suggesting, at least once. It’s a big like when you were a kid and didn’t like some food you’d never tried. Your parents always encouraged you to at least take a bit before you decide for sure you don’t like it. You may surprise yourself. Maybe dressing up like Minnie Mouse will bring out the animal in you.

As the person making the request, accept that your partner may never be as into whatever it is you want them to do as you are. After all, sexual compatibility is not always guaranteed especially when you get into some of the more fancy stuff. Not everyone is into bungee jumping. When venturing into new sexual territory and taking a lover with you, respect is paramount. In the end, they may simply not be interested (you can lead a horse to water…), in which case you have to decide if you can live with that (Obviously, one never forces new things on their partner.) If you can’t, you and your partner have some serious talking to do. And the one threesome you might want to consider should involve the two of you talking to a therapist.

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